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DHS/USCG RIN: 1625-AA16 Publication ID: 2012 
Title: Implementation of the 1995 Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978 
Abstract: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) comprehensively amended the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, in 1995 and 2010. The 1995 amendments came into force on February 1, 1997. This project implements those amendments by revising current rules to ensure that the United States complies with their requirements on: The training of merchant mariners, the documenting of their qualifications, and watch-standing and other arrangements aboard seagoing merchant ships of the United States. In addition, the Coast Guard has identified the need for additional changes to the interim rule issued in 1997. This project supports the Coast Guard's broad role and responsibility of maritime safety. It also supports the roles and responsibilities of the Coast Guard of reducing deaths and injuries of crew members on domestic merchant vessels and eliminating substandard vessels from the navigable waters of the United States. The Coast Guard published an NPRM on November 17, 2009, and Supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) on March 23, 2010. At a June 2010 diplomatic conference, the IMO adopted additional amendments to the STCW convention which change the minimum training requirements for seafarers. In response to feedback and to the adoption of those amendments, the Coast Guard developed a second Supplemental NPRM to incorporate the 2010 Amendments into the 1990 interim rule. 
Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 46 CFR 10    46 CFR 11    46 CFR 12    46 CFR 15   
Legal Authority: 46 USC 2103    46 USC chs. 71 and 73    DHS Delegation No. 0170.1   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The Coast Guard proposed to amend its regulations to implement changes to its interim rule published on June 26, 1997. These proposed amendments go beyond changes found in the interim rule and seek to more fully incorporate the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW), in the requirements for the credentialing of United States merchant mariners. The new changes are primarily substantive and: (1) Are necessary to continue to give full and complete effect to the STCW Convention; (2) Incorporate lessons learned from implementation of the STCW through the interim rule and through policy letters and NVICs; and (3) Attempt to clarify regulations that have generated confusion.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The authority for the Coast Guard to prescribe, change, revise, or amend these regulations is provided under 46 U.S.C. 2103 and 46 U.S.C. chapters 71 and 73; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

Alternatives: For each proposed change, the Coast Guard has considered various alternatives. We considered using policy statements, but they are not enforceable. We also considered taking no action, but this does not support the Coast Guard's fundamental safety and security mission. Additionally, we considered comments made during our 1997 rulemaking to formulate our alternatives. When we analyzed issues, such as license progression and tonnage equivalency, the alternatives chosen were those that most closely met the requirements of STCW.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: In the SNPRM, we estimated the annualized cost of this rule over a 10-year period to be $32.8 million per year at a 7 percent discount rate. We estimate the total 10-year cost of this rulemaking to be $230.7 million at a 7 percent discount rate. The changes in anticipated costs since the publication of 2009 NPRM are due to the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention: Medical examinations and endorsements, leadership and management skills, engine room management training, tankerman endorsements, safety refresher training, and able seafarer deck and engine certification requirements. However, there would be potential savings from the costs of training requirements as the Coast Guard would accept various methods for demonstrating competence, including the on-the-job training and preservation of the "hawsepipe" programs. We anticipate the primary benefit of this rulemaking is to ensure that the U.S. meets its obligations under the STCW Convention. Another benefit is an increase in vessel safety and a resulting decrease in the risk of shipping casualties.

Risks: No risks.

Action Date FR Cite
Notice of Meeting  08/02/1995  60 FR 39306   
Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End  09/29/1995    
Notice of Inquiry  11/13/1995  60 FR 56970   
Comment Period End  01/12/1996    
NPRM  03/26/1996  61 FR 13284   
Notice of Public Meetings  04/08/1996  61 FR 15438   
NPRM Comment Period End  07/24/1996    
Notice of Intent  02/04/1997  62 FR 5197   
Interim Final Rule  06/26/1997  62 FR 34505   
Interim Final Rule Effective  07/28/1997    
NPRM  11/17/2009  74 FR 59353   
NPRM Comment Period End  02/16/2010    
Supplemental NPRM  03/23/2010  75 FR 13715   
Supplemental NPRM  08/01/2011  76 FR 45908   
Public Meeting Notice  08/02/2011  76 FR 46217   
Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End  09/30/2011 
Final Rule  04/00/2013 
Additional Information: The docket number for this rulemaking is USCG-2004-17914. The docket is located at The old docket number is CGD 95-062. Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 13563.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Mark Gould
Project Manager, CG-OES-1
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., STOP 7509,
Washington, DC 20593-7509
Phone:202 372-1409